Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Make it Stop

(BU students in front of Marsh Plaza forget everything they’ve learned, and head into the storm.)

And you thought February would be warm…

The news was hard to bear, especially coming from a groundhog, but our old friend, Punxsutawney Phil proved his point this week as another Nor’Easter hit Boston on Tuesday, February 2.

Umbrellas were out and hoods were pulled tight over reddened, and often disgruntled, faces as the blustery winds reached upwards of 40 mph and the lingering, grimy snow drifts of yester-storm gained three new inches of powdery fluff. As day turned to night, Mother Nature showed no signs of stopping.

“I hate snow in Allston because it’s so dirty,” said Steve Mattson, 23, as he slumped his shoulders over a Brubaker’s beer at local Allston hangout, Our House West. What’s his favorite thing about snowy weather? “Throwing snowballs at cars. I did that yesterday.”

(Note to self: Add “risk of snowball attack” to list of reasons why snow in Allston does, in fact, suck.)

Just when you thought it was going to end; that the puddles of ice and slush lurking ambiguously at every corner would melt off, dry up and disappear; that birds would sing, and suns would shine and $20 would magically appear in your—Wait, that’s going too far. But seriously man, this snow sucks.

(CommAve. snow bank, rising in tandem with your

odds of getting a snowball in the face.)

For all the Negative Nancies, Hawaiians, and miscellaneous frozen precipitation haters out there, I present:

10 Things I Hate About Snow*

1. That guy with that snow covered backpack on the T. Do you see yourself? Look at your reflection in the window, guy. That is your voluminous textbook-stack-turned-camel-hump pressing its soggy, icy and altogether un-soft surface into my face at every stop. Something has to change here. Fast.

2. Everybody else on the T. Who are all you people? You’re so dispersed out there on the street, but jam everyone into a two-by-four T car on a snowy day, and it’s a small world after all. On the bright side, I now know that Dentyne gum, does in fact make for minty fresh breath. (Oh, and by the way, I like that scarf you’re wearing, ma’am. I got a good glimpse of the fabric as it lurched, full force into my eyes while I clung for dear life to the stairway handrail.)

3. That mysterious substance on my shoe. It’s part white, part gray, part boring a hole through the suede of my boot. And it will never come off. Ever.

(An icy bicycle seat contributes to the overcrowded T problem.)

4. Icy sidewalks that the
mysterious substance on my shoe can't seem to combat.

What is the “salt” even for? It’s more like seasoning for pigeon scraps than it is a storm preparation. Is the city in debt because of liability insurance? Young, vibrant 20-something athletes wielding power bars and lucky rabbit’s feet wipe out on these streets. (Note to self: Add “dangerous, icy sidewalk maelstrom” to list of reasons why I’m glad I’m still decades away from becoming infirm.)

5. That piece of snow that just went in my eye. Will you stop?! I’m trying to walk for Christ’s sake. On the bright side, I feel inspired to start wearing ski masks. Maybe the Allston hipsters will embrace my new nonconformist fashion statement.

6. The questionable surfaces at every street corner. To step, or not to step? That is the question. Allston City Councilor Mark Ciommo should give out cash prizes

to anyone who can guess whether they’re walking onto a sheet of ice, or a four inch slush puddle/death trap for the foot. Seriously, my left foot died twice yesterday. I'm running out of socks. (Another snow-in-eye victim, also in desperate need of winter head gear.)

7. My seriously inhibited jay-walking skills. So… many… snow banks. Must… go… to corner. Will…miss… T. I can’t wait till the spring when I can illegally frolic across any street whenever I damn well please, and not have to worry about trekking over a mini-Everest to get to the other side. [insert chicken crossing road joke here]

(Even as they rise, snow banks reach new low, now prohibiting courtyard jaywalking too.)

8. That car that’s double parked over an ice bank in front of my driveway. Dude, the cops. The cops actually came to my door to complain about you. Where are you? And why must you insist on denying the conditions out there? Park on a street that gets plowed, man. You’re never getting out, and now neither am I.

9. Cabin Fever. Within the 48 hours surrounding the storm, I consumed approximately 6,000 calories (none of which derived from either the fruit or the vegetable section of the food pyramid), watched eight episodes of Arrested Development, and took part in three Mario Parties and two Stratego battles. I skipped one class, took two naps, and went to the gym exactly zero times. If this doesn’t end soon, I’ll wind up on a bad reality TV show.

10. Snow ≠ Spring. Remember that time when you could go outside for more than five minutes, and still feel your fingers? Me neither. There are many dresses in my closet that are just as upset about this as I am.

(Above: An innocent pedestrian feebly attempts to block the wind and snow with her bare hands; doesn't stand a chance. Left: Icy sidewalk maelstrom. Below: The underappreciated Building and Ground team on Boston University campus is the only thing keeping me sane. Shovel away, savior. )

* This list is directed specifically towards snow in Boston/Allston. Three cheers to snow in Northern Vermont, Lake Tahoe, the Poconoe Mountains, or all of the above.

Phew, that felt good. Sometimes you just have to rant. Go ahead… try it. And hey, all that said, at least we’re not in Kentucky.

(Trick of the trade: pictures in sepia hide grimy street snow, create winter wonderland effect, and subsequently, false hope.)

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